As if I don’t have enough guilt from being a mom who works full time outside the home, I have a new type of guilt that is plaguing me.
Sometimes when Elliot and I play or when I take him to the pool or playground, I feel guilty that he does not have a built-in playmate – a brother or a sister.
Well, it’s not for lack of wanting or trying. Elliot has never complained about not having a brother or sister, but during nearly each trip to the park, he does ask other children, “Hey, do you want to play with me?”
I voiced this concern to my husband, who reminded me that if our plans had worked out the way we would’ve liked, Elliot’s sibling would presently be a baby not capable of doing anything fun, according to Elliot’s standards anyway.
I still feel as though I’ve deprived Elliot of something.
Now, we are believing that God will bless us with another child soon, but that means that Elliot will be 5 by the time he gets a baby brother or sister! Will they even want to play together? The guilt continues.
On a recent day, Elliot and I were sitting at the dining room table eating when he told me he will share his blueberries with his baby brother or sister. Feeling particularly guilt-ridden, I said, “Do you really want a baby brother or a baby sister?” His response surprised me: “God hasn’t given you one yet?”
“No, not yet,” I answered. Again, his reply gave me pause: “Maybe we should ask Jesus for a baby brother.” I reassured him, “Yes, we definitely should.” Following a short conversation about praying any time of day, rather than just bedtime, Elliot dropped the subject and finished his dinner.
Later that evening, before I left my 4-year-old’s room at bedtime, Elliot prayed, “Dear Jesus, thank you for a baby brother.”
I piped up and said, “Maybe you should ask Jesus for a baby brother instead of thanking him. He hasn’t given us a baby yet.” So, Elliot amended his prayer: “Dear Jesus, please give me a baby brother.”
Before I went to bed, I thought a lot about Elliot’s questions and his prayers. I pondered the New Testament stories of Jesus and children. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus spoke these words: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus loved children, and he emphasized the importance of a child’s pure faith.
Elliot’s initial prayer, thanking God for a baby brother, was pure faith at its best. He is so sure that Jesus is going to give him a baby brother that he didn’t feel the need to ask. He just thanked Him because he believes it to be so.
The next night as Elliot prayed, he changed it up again. “Dear Jesus, please give me a baby brother and a baby sister.” At that moment, I decided not to question the prayer, but he uttered the same one the next night. I had to ask, “Are you asking Jesus for two babies at the same?” Almost annoyed with me, Eliot said, “Yes! I want a baby brother and a baby sister! Two babies in your belly.”
Oh boy! If childlike faith produces results, I may be in for more than I’m expecting.